Apple CEO Tim Cook, who inaugurated two retail stores in India, will be returning to his home town without revealing investments in future and job creations in the world’s second largest smartphone market.
Apple in April 2021 revealed that it plans to make new contributions of more than $430 billion and add 20,000 new jobs across the United States over the next five years. It is apparent that Tim Cook does not have a number to disclose for India because the iPhone maker is still weighing other countries to rely in the wake of a tension between Beijing and Washington.
Apple could double or triple investments in India, along with exports, over the next few years, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the deputy minister for information technology, said. Apple has never revealed its investment in India. Rajeev Chandrasekhar also did not reveal the investment and job creation plans of Apple.
Apple mainly assembles iPhones in India through Taiwan contract manufacturers but plans to expand into iPads and AirPods, as it looks to cut reliance on China, Reuters news report said. Apple has never revealed the number of employees in India.
Apple’s iPhones made up more than half of total smartphones worth about $9 billion exported from India between April 2022 and February, data from the India Cellular and Electronics Association shows.
“I am very confident that this Apple-India partnership has a lot of headroom for investments, growth, exports and jobs – doubling and tripling over coming years,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the deputy minister for information technology, told Reuters.
His comments came after a meeting on Wednesday with Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in the capital, New Delhi.
Tim Cook, who also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Apple was “committed to growing and investing across the country”.
India is an important market for Apple. But it needs to do more work because the iPhone maker is yet to reach in the top five positions in the Indian smartphone market. Samsung (21 percent share), Oppo (18 percent), Vivo (18 percent), Xiaomi (16 percent) and Realme (9 percent) are the top smartphone brands in India during the first quarter of 2023, according to Canalys research report.
Apple is trying to expand in India and add more phone customers at a time when Apple’s sales in China nosedived to $23.905 billion during the December quarter of 2022 as compared with $25.783 billion in October-December 2021.
Apple today opened a second retail store in India, the world’s biggest smartphone market after China, despite having presence for several years.
Tim Cook inaugurated an Apple store in New Delhi on Thursday two days after opening its first outlet in Mumbai, the commercial capital.
“We’ve come here only to see Tim Cook,” said Manika Mehta, 32, an Android phone user who queued at the Delhi store.
About 500 people had gathered for Tim Cook’s brief appearance, in which he spoke with fans and took selfies, as in Mumbai.
“My heart was skipping a beat,” said Reeti Sahai, 45, after taking a selfie. “I’m an Apple addict. I’m drawn to Tim Cook, seeing the man he is and the journey.”
Tim Cook’s visit has drawn extensive media coverage and he has been feted like a Bollywood star, with some people trying to touch his feet in a traditional gesture of respect, while others asked for his autograph.
Apple has faced hurdles in opening physical retail stores in the South Asian nation, but its products have been available on e-commerce websites, while its online store opened in 2020.
The new stores open as Indian consumers increasingly look to upgrade devices to glitzier models with richer feature sets, from budget versions that typically cost less than $120.
Still, Apple’s pricey phones are affordable for only a few in India, where it has a market share of just 3 percent.
Apple has been trying to make India a bigger manufacturing base. Its products, including iPhones, are being assembled in India by contract electronics makers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.
In January, India’s trade minister said Apple wanted the country to account for up to 25 percent of its production versus about 5 percent to 7 percent now, Reuters news report said.